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Kelly's story - We Are With You

Pluss Positive People Positive People - Cornwall 26 September 2021

Kelly moved to Cornwall in 2009 with her three children after finally escaping two abusive marriages. After reaching out to We Are With You for mental health support, Kelly was referred to the Positive People Programme. She has welcomed every opportunity that has come her way and is now a part-time volunteer with the Positive People admin team!

“When I moved to Cornwall I didn’t know anyone as I find it hard to trust people. I became so mentally unwell, struggling with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, all starting from a car crash in my childhood. I started seeing things that weren’t there and I was living in fear. I felt hounded in all directions, the two ex-husbands and the police. But it felt that no one ever listened to me or believed me.

“When you are deemed too ill to work, placed on the scrapheap, it makes you feel worthless. Some services have been dismissive of my mental health, which has left me feeling at constant threat of constantly having to prove my challenges to them which increases my stress levels. It makes me feel crap.

“I struggled with eating disorders and although I wasn’t physically dependent on alcohol, I accessed the support of We Are With You for issues with my mental health and accompanied alcohol use, working with Jane Hepworth. She was incredibly supportive and linked me in with the Positive People Programme.

“My Change Coach Cat is really kind and genuine, which is what I have needed in my life. When I started working with her I didn’t really know what I wanted, but I knew that I had to make the first step.

“I started working with Charlotte from the Health & Wellbeing team and had fortnightly sessions with her, looking at tips for grounding myself. She was a support and someone else to talk to which was fantastic. She also connected me with Jo, a Volunteer Peer Mentor, who listened to me like a friend and encouraged me to join the Positive People Volunteering Programme.

“I have gained so much from the programme – camaraderie, humour, direction. I am currently attending the 10-week Get into Volunteering Programme. At the start, I needed reassurance. I explained how I felt and Cat and my Peer Mentor made it all seem possible. They gave me the courage to carry on. They have given me a safe space to grow and start the journey of finding out who I am.

“The Get Into Volunteering Programme is brilliant. It gives you a chance to show your commitment to everyone involved. I have enjoyed listening to the guest speakers and finding out about different roles in the charity sector. There’s no pressure. At a time when I felt vulnerable and without confidence, it gave me space to find confidence, dip my toe in and build on the relationship with the team. I have been guided but not rushed. Everyone makes you feel so welcome. They provide steps that can contribute to your life. The kindness from the team shines through.

“I miss working with people, I am not sure I even know who I am as a woman yet, but I want to do something that will make a tiny difference to someone else’s life. I did okay at school but I have been put down my whole life, so I don’t know yet what I would be good at. I have worked all my life, admin, bars, but nothing that I feel passionate about.

“I have now completed the With You volunteering training and I’ve started an admin role with Positive People. My mental health makes me scared to move forward, in case I mess up. But I know that Positive People will have my back. I can’t sit on my arse and let the people of my past ruin me.

“There are still parts of me that are yet to heal, but I just know that I can be amazing at something. I was born into a family that didn’t show me my worth, which then resulted in relationships that did the same. But I can’t be crap, I can’t be useless, because I am still here fighting. The sky’s the limit!”

To find out more about how Positive People can help you connect with education, training, volunteering or employment, click ‘Send a Message’ today or email positivepeople@wearewithyou.org.uk.